The more things change…

Here’s a slide from 2009, when we were convincing transit agencies to open up their data, and then later building MTA BusTIme:   And here’s one from yesterday, from a talk I gave at the Shift Conference (blog post to follow w more on that):     Continue reading

The magic of making hard things easy

I wrote earlier this week about how life is, generally, hard.  There’s no question about that. One of my favorite things about the Internet, and probably the most exciting thing about working in venture capital, is being around people who are working to re-architect the world to make hard things easier.  And by easier, I… Continue reading

Anti-workflow apps

“Workflow” apps hold so much promise.  Whether it’s a CRM, project management tool, to-do list, or some other tool, the promise in each case is to clean up our messy lives and help us be more organized and effective. The problem, though, is that getting people to adopt a workflow is really really hard.  That’s… Continue reading

The Indie Web

Last night at USV, we hosted the latest of several recent meetups on the “Peer Economy”.  We are in the process of organizing a number of companies and organizations that represent a certain sector of the internet economy in NYC, with an eye towards building a more formal coalition (perhaps in the model of San… Continue reading

We Heart WiFi

Today at SXSW, we are launching a Wi-Fi network + advocacy campaign called We Heart WiFi.  Fred and Albert both have posts up about it this morning. Over the coming weekend, folks at SXSW will be able to hop on to one of our free “Super Wi-Fi” hotspots.  The “super” part is that each of… Continue reading

FlightCar – a Beachhead for Car Sharing

Despite the extent to which I talk and think about car sharing and other newly possible. web-enabled modes of transportation, the truth is I still don’t use too many of them on a regular basis.  Need to work on that. It seems as though I need to travel to SF to get the urge to get around town in new ways.… Continue reading

WebFWD: Accelerating a Better Internet

I’ve always loved Mozilla‘s mission and tactics – using awesome consumer products as the lever to make the web a better place to be. That’s why I’m happy to join their WebFWD accelerator program as a scout.  That just means that I’m one of many folks who are on the lookout for products and companies… Continue reading

Design, Policy and Infrastructure for Great Experiences

I consider myself an accidental policy person. In other words: I didn’t set out to study and understand how our policy decisions impact the world we live in.  Rather, I came at it from the perspective of design and experience (both real world and virtual) and ended up backing into the policy implications, almost my… Continue reading

Grokking Spectrum

One of the more important, more contentious, and more complicated tech policy issues is radio spectrum allocation. It’s an issue I don’t have a lot of background experience in but have been learning a lot about lately. It’s a hot topic right now because the FCC is about to hold incentive auctions to transition some… Continue reading

Peer Progress and Regulation 2.0

Yesterday I spent the day at Princeton with Steve Schultze and the rest of the team at the Center for Information Technology Policy. The topic of my talk was “Peer Progress and Regulation 2.0” — something I’ve been thinking and talking about over the past several months, but haven’t yet written a ton about.  That… Continue reading

Internet Centrism

This morning I am heading down to the Princeton Center for Information Technology Policy to talk about Peer Progress and Regulation 2.0.  The pitch goes like this: “Peer Networks” are bringing new organizational and economic dynamics to every sector — unlocking tremendous opportunity and potential. At the same time, they threaten incumbents in the private… Continue reading

Backing into your network

Today, we announced that USV is investing in Hailo.  I am psyched about this for a number of reasons, but primarily because it’s infrastructure that connects people to their city in new ways. What’s most fascinating is that we almost certainly don’t yet know what those ways are. I want to point out one quote… Continue reading

Still looking for a smarter inbox

I am bad at email.  Maybe everyone is.  But I feel like I’m worse than most; or at least worse than I want to be. I feel like my inbox should do a better job helping me find emails that are important.  I use Gmail and Priority Inbox, so I don’t mean “important” in that… Continue reading

Superheroes in the Snowpocalypse

Yesterday Uber made me feel like a superhero. It was about 10 degrees in Boston, and I was on the T on my way into Cambridge.  And as we pulled in to Kenmore station the conductor notified us that all Green Line trains would be going out of service.  So my train — and every… Continue reading

Peer Networks and Health Innovation

Yesterday, I went down to DC to visit the US Dept of Health and Human Services – and presented to their Innovation Council (a cross functional working group on innovation) about opportunities to bring “networked thinking” into the health space. This is clearly such an important area, with huge opportunities for personal and societal benefit.  It’s also… Continue reading

Reflections on two days with no phone

Sunday night, Cescalouise‘s iPhone mysteriously went dark.  She had a lot going on Monday, so I gave her my phone to use, then I headed down to NYC for the day and following night. So I’ve been away from home for the last day and a half with no phone.  Not a huge deal, obviously,… Continue reading

Introducing OpenPlans, and the evolution of a brand

After many moons of plotting and scheming, yesterday we announced our organizational rebranding: The organization formerly known as The Open Planning Project (or TOPP) is now OpenPlans.  I am excited, and I think this is a welcome development. For years, there has been mass confusion (chaos! pandemonium!) around our name.  Our emails were, our… Continue reading

jPlayer sprites SVG

For a little side project, I’m using jPlayer, a nice jQuery-based audio player.   I wanted to skin the buttons a to suit my project, and while jPlayer does support jQuery ThemeRoller skins, I liked the basic look and feel of the standard jPlayer controls.  So, I just traced the default sprites in Illustrator in… Continue reading

Map drawing UX is still too hard

At work today, we are exploring the process of drawing routes on a map, thinking ahead to a few upcoming projects involving bike planning.  So Sonali set up a Google MyMap and asked a few of us to mark our routes to work.  In a nutshell, it was basically a flop, with two out of… Continue reading